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Vans: Mister Cartoon Interview

Vans interviewed Mister Cartoon on their website this week ahead of their new Syndicate Authentic collaboration. + + + + + Q> How did you first get involved with Vans Syndicate? I linked up with Vans through my friend Berto from Supreme back then. He always believed in my art and was an inspiration to me in the streetwear game. It was his idea of doing the Syndicate shoe and working with Vans. Q> Did you ever wear Vans growing up? I grew up in the harbor area of Los Angeles—skateboarding and surfing was always around in the neighbourhood. I bought my first pair of Vans at the OG store on Torrance Blvd. I remember in junior high we’d write our names on the side of the white rubber. Or you’d write your name and your girlfriend’s name, and rock them like that. I can remember the girls wearing the Slip-Ons—that image is burned in my brain forever. Q> What is the meaning behind the clown drawing? The clown represents good times and bad times; we use the word “clowning” in our vocabulary to describe something sick. Q> You designed an OTW shoe, a Slip-On, and a Simpsons Vans shoe. How were all the projects different? The Syndicate has a hardcore, streetwear old school feel. The Simpsons was a celebration of life-changing animation. For the OTW I was able to express my graffiti roots and my experience from traveling around the world. Q> Is it cool to imagine people skating in these shoes? Yes, it is. A lot of times people don’t wear my shoes—they keep them in the box as a collector’s item. But I love seeing people sporting them, so other people can see them. It’s even better if someone is skating them and can fuck them up a bit … that’s the best. To me it’s like having a fancy show car—it’s no good unless you drive it.